Commission launches toolkit to support social housing in Member States

Today, the Commission has released a toolkit for policymakers at national, regional and local levels to make the best use of EU funding to invest in social housing and accompanying services. Affordable and decent housing has a positive impact on social inclusion and on people’s participation in education and the labour market. However, access to social and affordable housing has become a challenge for many EU citizens. According to Eurostat, house purchase prices in the EU increased by 47.9% between 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2023, and rent prices went up by 22.8%. In 2022, almost one in ten people in the EU lived in a household where total housing costs represented more than 40% of their income.

With 20 case studies, the toolkit showcases how EU funds, such as the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) can contribute to improving access to adequate housing in Europe. Through the RRF, for instance, it is estimated that €15 billion will contribute to the social housing and other social infrastructures. The toolkit gives concrete examples of how different Member States are using EU funds for this purpose, and includes guidance on how EU funds can support effective investment for building capacities and implementing reforms as regards the provision of social housing and of associated services.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “All over Europe, many citizens face challenges in finding affordable housing. The costs of mortgages or rents represent a significant burden for many households, especially in urban areas, leading to increased risks of evictions, housing exclusion and poverty. I hope that this toolkit will contribute to Member States developing the policies and investments needed to make a real change for our citizens. The Commission is committed to supporting all actions that lead to more affordable housing in Europe.”

The Social Housing toolkit supports principle 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights which sets out that access to social housing or housing assistance of good quality should be provided for those in need, as well as principle 14, which calls for effective access, by everyone lacking sufficient resources, to enabling services.